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  Home > FOCAC Archives > The 2nd Ministerial Conference > Follow-up Actions
Address by Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan of the State Council of the People's Republic of China at Conference on China-Africa Cooperation
2005/02/25

Your Excellency Dr. Toepfer,

Distinguished Heads of African delegations,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Good afternoon!

It gives me a great pleasure to attend the Conference on China-Africa Cooperation in Environmental Protection and exchange views with you on environmental protection. I am also delighted to have invited so many distinguished guests to the Conference to share with us their views and recommendations on China-Africa environmental cooperation. This Conference, as one of the important follow-up actions under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, will advance the environmental cooperation between China and African countries through enhanced mutual understanding and communication based on policy dialogue and exchanges. On behalf of the Chinese Government, I wish to extend warm welcome to all delegates and guests to the Conference, and sincere thanks to UNEP and AMCEN for their support.

The traditional friendship between China and Africa dates back far in history. Over the decades, China and Africa have forged profound friendship and an amicable relationship featuring equality, mutual encouragement, mutual support and mutual assistance in face of the important topics of economic development and social progress. In the new century, the two sides have established the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation with a view to facilitating common prosperity and development. The Forum has held two ministerial meetings and adopted the Beijing Declaration and the Addis Ababa Action Plan, defining the basic principles of “having equal consultations, increasing mutual understanding, expanding common ground, enhancing friendship and promoting cooperation”, and thus providing the basis, platform and fresh dynamism to China-Africa cooperation.

Since China adopted the reform and opening-up policy, the country has enjoyed sustained and rapid economic growth, continuous social progress, greater overall national strength and better livelihood for the people. Nevertheless, with a big population and weak economic foundation, China is still faced with many difficulties and problems on the road ahead such as disparity in regional development and big pressure on employment, natural resources and the environment. In order to attain the grand objective of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-around way, we will cultivate and act on a scientific concept of development, put people first and set greater store by environmental protection. To do this, we shall properly handle the relationship between economic development on the one hand and population, resources and the environment on the other for a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development.

We will quicken the pace in transforming the pattern of economic growth, actively adjust economic structures, vigorously develop a circular economy and foster a conservation-conscious society in all aspects. We will work even harder in pollution prevention and control in major river valleys and areas, speed up the cleaning up of water, air and solid waste pollution, strengthen ecological conservation and development, improve the quality of environmental protection by pressing ahead with comprehensive environmental treatment measures and focusing on solving environmental problems affecting people’s health. Efforts will also be made so that the government performs its functions right and the market plays a sufficient role. More resources will be diverted to environmental protection programs to put in place an enduring mechanism for pollution prevention and control. We have the confidence and capability to continuously improve the environmental quality of China and effectively address environmental problems.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It takes concerted efforts from countries all around the world to realise global sustainable development. As an active participant in both multilateral process and bilateral cooperation on global environmental protection, the Chinese Government has signed and ratified a host of international environmental treaties and thus undertaken responsibilities and obligations therein. Over the years, China has gained support and assistance from relevant international organizations and institutions such as UNEP in its environmental protection work. For the time to come, China will give better protection to its domestic environment while continuing to back UNEP’s leading role in global environmental affairs and vigorously pushing ahead international cooperation with respect to environment and development.

China and Africa share vast prospects and huge potential for cooperation on environmental protection. China is the biggest developing country and Africa the continent most densely populated by developing countries. Together, we are home to more than one third of the world’s population. To strengthen China-Africa cooperation on environmental protection will not only provide a sound opportunity for both sides to learn from and complement each other but also accumulate helpful experiences for closer cooperation on environmental protection among developing countries. In this respect, I wish to make the following three proposals:

First, to expand the scope of exchanges on environmental protection between China and Africa. The two sides may proceed from their respective features and focus on environment problems of common interest to reinforce dialogue and exchanges in a multitude of fields such as ecological and biodiversity protection, policy-making and legislation on environmental protection and research of environmental science in a bid to seek solutions to those problems.

Second, to forcefully press ahead with technical cooperation on environmental protection. The two sides may spread the use of advanced and applicable technology of environmental protection as well as relevant equipment and facilities in pollution control and treatment and ecological building and restoration among others. The Chinese side is ready to offer technical assistance to African countries with a view to bringing about mutual benefit and a win-win result.

Third, to further step up personnel training. The Chinese Government is willing to provide training programs on environmental protection for environmental officials and specialists from African countries under the African Human Resources Development Fund of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. We expect such cooperation to bring opportunities for both sides to understand and learn from each other and enhance capacity-building on environmental protection.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Closer cooperation on environment and development between China and Africa is a significant contribution to global sustainable development. We are ready to share experience with African countries, drive ahead our cooperation and work towards common development. To conclude, I believe that with concerted efforts from both sides, China-Africa cooperation on environmental protection is bound to make pragmatic progress and bear abundant fruits to the benefit of the Chinese and African people as well as world peace and development.

Thank you!

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